“Look at all these free car parking spaces” Moo blurted as he greets me at our South Melbourne AirBnb. “Where is everyone?” indeed it did appear the whole suburb had taken off for the weekend, but in actual fact the sheer volume of available car spaces remained unchanged during our stay.
If you live in South Melbourne you may be questioning our presumed adoration for car parking spaces. But the truth is, in Sydney, car spaces are a commodity. The rarest form of luck and chance are required. A mix of impatience, laziness and anxiety fills every motorist.
Our reasons for wanting to escape Sydney consisted of: wanting to eat delicious food and sip excellent wine, we craved the peace of not being within a five kilometer radius of a construction site and now this – an abundance of free parking spaces – a sight we didn’t think we’d enjoy so much.
To say South Melbourne is a quiet suburb is a mild understatement. We didn’t hear so much as a peep from neighbours and barely saw people on the streets until we approached main roads.
Our AirBnb was perfectly situated minutes walking distance from South Melbourne Markets, Albert Park, Middle Park and Port Melbourne. It was the complete opposite vibe from our last visit to Melbourne where we stayed in Fitzroy, there it felt like we were in the heart of the action. The only thing we were in the heart of this time, was peace and quiet.
I landed at Tullamarine airport by mid morning, a pit stop into the One Planet hiking store (I smell an adventure brewing…) and a quick lunch at Kinfolk, a social enterprise in the CBD who distribute their profits to local charities and thrive with the help of cafe volunteers. I caught a tram to our abode, freshened up and waited for Moo’s arrival.
Before he had a chance to put his bags down, I rattled off our afternoon agenda. First up, we ambled our way to the markets to forage for snacks.
Minutes after our arrival, Moo finishes a Turkish borek in record time. Just in time for us to reach the fromagerie and bologna stalls. Twenty minutes, a lap of the food stalls and $15 later and we have our own self built charcuterie board. Pistachio and truffle salami, a cheddar cheese more crumbly than a sand castle and plump green olives is all I can remember, it went in the blink of an eye.
If there was one ingredient we unanimously agreed was missing, it was wine. And from there, we marched to Bellota. Their one aim is simple; try and help you love the wine as much as they do. We sat on a table flooded with afternoon sunlight, sipping a hand picked Riesling watching as people slowly finished work for the week, their top buttons ever so loose now the day was done.
It was the type of wine that quenched your thirst, inspired creativity and left you feeling a zest for life after each sip. As the sun started to hide behind the Kurrajong tree, our charcuterie had begun to wear off as our stomachs beckoned for more.
We purposefully caught a five minute tram in the opposite direction in order to walk along the bay, the water glistening so delicately. I’ve recently been indulging in the adventurous Peter Moore book ‘Vroom with a View‘ and thus my obsession with Italian food has flourished. Ciao Cielo in Port Melbourne was sumptuous and then some. The spanner crab spaghetti and Sardinian goat were a delight, as was the second bottle of Riesling.
“There are some people for whom food is an often unwelcome distraction. A pause in an otherwise productive day. For others, it’s something hotly anticipated, looked forward with a measure of zeal”
The following morning arrives and it’s as if our stomachs haven’t eaten for weeks. Moo sleeps in while I have my haircut. No hairdresser appointment is absolute unless you’ve covered the following topics: the weather, current state of *enter celebrity name currently in press* and your next holiday. Tick!
We reunite at Urban Projuice, these guys are serving up fresh produce that is locally grown, seasonal, fair-trade and organic. Again, we inhale.
The day escapes us as the temperature increased to thirty degrees, an afternoon at the polo and many Aperol Spritzes induced a drowsy state. We seek shade and the comfort of a light onshore breeze as we slowly made our way back to the AirBnb.
A light nap and a costume change later (not even a little embarrassed to share this) and we’re meeting Moo’s co-workers at Misuzus Japanese in Albert Park. A sincere amount of sushi and wine consumed. Not without us sampling (and finishing) all possible desserts on offer. It’s at this exact point I remember why I encourage myself to be active week after week.
The following day, the weather cooled slightly as we venture to Abbortsford. I asked my dear friend Emma for the most ridiculously hipster place to eat brunch and I jumped at her recommendation to munch at Kitty Burns.
No catch up with Emma is complete until we have both a) reminisced how outrageous our twenties were, after meeting in the best of circumstances in Vietnam and b) brainstorm a new product and/or service that would successfully allow us to work from home with little to no effort. We’re still working on the latter.
As we dawdled along the Yarra, we take in the serenity and walk off the additional calories. I’m feeling refreshed and clear headed.
Incredible that all it took was a weekend away to reset from such a busy year. We return to Sydney to be greeted by our lovable rogue: Chad the cat, feeling ever so slightly less stressed about parking spaces.
I urge you to give it a go.
Until next week xo
Lastly, I’d like to credit: @marcbabin, @anniespratt & @fabianmardi via Unsplash. The Edamame Smash is mine 😉